DVD review KING DIAMOND ‘Songs From the Dead Live’

(9/10) Introducing King Diamond feels like carrying sand to the beach. The frontman of legendary Mercyful Fate started a solo career in 1985 and premiered with ‘Fatal Portrait’ a year later.

My entry point to the music of the ‘Danish King’ was in 1987 when he release with “Abigail’ a classic that is timeless. Songs from this album create as much excitement these days as they did in the middle of the ‘80s. A bit more than three decades later it’s King Diamond’s sophomore album that gets some new and extra attention by a DVD/Blu-ray release.

It was in 2015/2016 when King Diamond, together with a very experienced line-up (Andy LaRocque (g), Mike Wead (g), bassist Pontus Egberg and drummer Matt Thompson), embarked on a tour that included show with a setlist, comprising of the entire ‘Abigail’ album.

Two of these shows are the base for this release. Although build around the same scenery, the shows can’t be compared since they took place under totally different circumstances. The first one became also the name giver for this release. King Diamond played at Graspop festival in Belgium in 2016 in front of thousands of enthusiastic metalheads, cherishing each of the songs and rewarding the band with massive applause.

The second concert that is revealed via this release was played at Philadelphia’s Fillmore in November 2015. It was a more intimate setup that created a different mood, while ecstacy and enthusiasm has been the same as at Graspop a few month later. Actually it was the club show that was even more intense due to the close proximity of band leader, band and fans.

I don’t think that I need to lose a lot of words when it comes to the songs, since you all know them so well. Each of the classic tracks of the ‘Abigail’-album speaks for itself. Next to these highlights some extra treats have been offered, thinking about ‘Welcome Home’ from the ‘Them’-album and ‘Halloween’, taken from the mentioned debut. Last but not least ‘Come to the Sabbath’ and ‘Melissa’ reflected the Mercyful Fate-days and round of a setlist that couldn’t have been chosen much better.

King Diamond is more than solely a band playing concerts based on excellent music. It’s a show where the music plays an important role. The fact that it’s almost a play that comes with the music makes Kind Diamond live on stage to a holistic experience and that’s why the CD version is great but the DVD version is to recommend. Directed by Denis Korycki, the filming was done in an great fashion, leading to exciting perspectives and views. One of the cameras provides the view from behind the wheelchair during ‘Out From the Asylum’, as one example. This allows the viewer to experience a Kind Diamond show partly from a different angle and it adds an extra thrill to this release.

King Diamond didn’t release many live album during his entire career. If I counted right ‘Songs From the Dead Live’ is number three in more than three decades and it’s the first one that comes as DVD/Blu-Ray. Already this fact is reason enough for adding this ‘Songs From the Dead Live’ to your metal collection. Long live the king.


(9/10)

Tracklist:

Graspop Metal Meeting

01. Out from the Asylum
02. Welcome Home
03. Sleepless Nights
04. Halloween
05. Eye of the Witch
06. Melissa
07. Come to the Sabbath
08. Them
09. Funeral
10. Arrival
11. A Mansion in Darkness
12. The Family Ghost
13. The 7th Day of July 1777
14. Omens
15. The Possession
16. Abigail
17. Black Horsemen
18. Insanity

The Fillmore

01. Out from the Asylum
02. Welcome Home
03. Sleepless Nights
04. Eye of the Witch
05. Halloween
06. Melissa
07. Come to the Sabbath
08. Them
09. Funeral
10. Arrival
11. A Mansion in Darkness
12. The Family Ghost
13. The 7th Day of July 1777
14. Omens
15. The Possession
16. Abigail
17. Black Horsemen
18. Insanity

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 25th, 2019

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